First vaccine dose slashes Covid-19 hospitalisations by at least 75%: UK studies
Published : Tuesday, 23 February, 2021 at 8:33 PM Count : 344
Data from two separate studies published in the United Kingdom yesterday – one in England and the other in Scotland – has shown that vaccines against Covid-19 are effective in cutting disease transmission and hospitalisations from the first dose, reports AFP.
Analysis from Public Health England showed that the vaccine manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech reduces the risk of catching infection by more than 70% after the first dose. That risk is reduced by 85% after the second.
The public health body's study of real-world data also showed that vaccinated people who go on to become infected are far less likely to die or be hospitalised.
Hospitalisations and deaths from Covid-19 are reduced by over 75% in those who have received a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, according to the analysis.
"This crucial report shows vaccines are working – it is extremely encouraging to see evidence that the Pfizer vaccine offers a high degree of protection against the coronavirus," said Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
Britain is one of the countries hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, with 120,757 deaths.
It was the first nation to begin mass vaccinations last December, and more than 17 million people have now received at least their first vaccine dose – a third of the UK’s adult population.
"We will see much more data over the coming weeks and months, but we should be very encouraged by these initial findings," said Dr Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at Public Health England.
At the same time, a study in Scotland showed that the Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccinations have led to a reduction in Covid-19 admissions to hospitals after the first dose.
The study, led by University of Edinburgh, found that by the fourth week after receiving the initial dose, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine reduced the risk of hospitalisation by up to 85%.
The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine reduced the risk by 94%.
"These results are very encouraging, and have given us great reasons to be optimistic for the future," said Prof Aziz Sheikh, who led the research, in a statement.
"We now have national evidence – across an entire country – that vaccination provides protection against Covid-19 hospitalisations.
"The roll-out of the first vaccine dose now needs to be accelerated globally to help overcome this terrible disease."
The research compared the outcomes of those who have received their first jab with those who have not.
It found that vaccination was associated with an 81% reduction in hospitalisation risk in the fourth week among those aged 80 and over, when the results for both vaccines were combined.
The project, which used patient data to track the pandemic and the vaccine roll-out in real time, analysed a data set covering the entire Scottish population of 5.4 million between December 8 and February 15.
Some 1.14 million vaccines were administered to 21% of the Scottish population during the period.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was received by 650,000 people in Scotland, while 490,000 had the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
It is the first research to describe the effect of the vaccinations on preventing severe illness resulting in hospitalisation across a country.
Previous results on vaccine efficacy have come from clinical trials.
The study team said the findings are applicable to other countries using the two types of Covid-19 vaccines.
The data reported "is extremely promising", said Arne Akbar, president of the British Society for Immunology.
"Although there does seem to be some difference in effectiveness levels measured across age groups, the reduction in hospitalisations for the older age groups is still impressively high.
"We now need to understand how long-lasting this protection is for one dose of the vaccine."